LA City Council approves Scattergood hydrogen plant

A contentious plan to switch the Scattergood Generating Station, a power facility in Playa Del Rey, to green hydrogen rather than natural gas, was approved for implementation by a Los Angeles City Council committee.

Over the objections of some environmental groups concerned about the impact of green hydrogen on the climate and a lack of openness from officials, the council’s energy committee recommended approval of a competitive bid proposal process for the estimated $800 million plan by a vote of 2 to 1.

After initially declining to consider the matter, the city council returned it back to the committee. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power would be permitted to award a contract for the project under the proposed ordinance.

The strategy is essential for Los Angeles to achieve its objective of using only sustainable energy by 2035, according to City Council President Paul Krekorian, who also serves on the energy committee.

The switch to green hydrogen, according to a decision issued by the Board of Water and Power Commissioners in August, will assist the department in achieving its objective of switching to 100% renewable energy by 2035.

Environmental organizations, though, have resisted. Using hydrogen would cost more than using solar, wind, or battery storage, emit emissions that could endanger the climate, and use more than 122 million gallons of water to power the facility.

Paul Koretz, a member of the council who is leaving his position, voted against the measure, claiming that the committee was “jumping the gun” with green hydrogen.

Several members of environmental organizations spoke to the committee, requesting additional examination before moving the proposal forward.